Latest Stories

Design Dimensions

Design’s many facets


THE BAO BAO bag’s facets collapse into their own form: shapes made by chance. Photo courtesy of Deluxemall

While design is primarily a product of artistic inclinations, technology undoubtedly supports the development of design. Take for instance the advancement of computer-aided design: Once used to draw two-dimensional plans, it has now extended into developing three-dimensional models, enabling them to turn and twist, much like a fashion model working the catwalk, and allowing its creator to study its forms from all sides.

Visualizing faceted forms and surfaces can be quite challenging and so the current trend of “faceting” in architecture and design is assisted, if not fueled, by digital technology. Facets make use of flat planes, oftentimes with only three sides, or with edges that connect to adjacent surfaces at different angles. Think origami. Think crystals.

Futuristic look

How can you accurately draw by hand planes that are set as various shapes and tilted at different angles? I personally struggle with this. It takes the precision of digital imaging to connect and close these into a continuous form.

I’m fascinated by the futuristic look that faceting creates. It will be unusual to find any two surfaces at a 90-degree angle or at a right angle. While the planes with no curves move with grace as they turn into various angles and “flow” to create other forms, one cannot help but appreciate its futuristic vibe, and not-any-graceful fluidity. It is hard-edged and crystalline, and quite revolutionary.

Take as an example the Lamborgini Countach, the Italian super car launched with much fanfare and controversy back in 1974. Considered to be very aggressive in form given its lack of curved surfaces, it was probably one of the first design creations made through faceted planes.

Although the Lambo’s facets were not very many considering how many sides and edges it had, it was already ahead of its time. But its new Aventador and Reventon, both with a tremendous amount of faceting on their bodywork, look like some slick super hero’s backup car: very modern—and definitely futuristic.

FORCEFUL YET GRACEFUL Seamless facets allow for a very futuristic fluidity in this washroom. Photo courtesy of DuPont

Pixelated effect

Issey Miyake’s popular line of ladies’ bags, the “Bao Bao,” works with facets too. Its flat and regular triangles in various colors have a two-dimensional pixelated effect when seen from afar. The “pixels” are cut from leather and are individually mounted on a fine mesh lining.

The bags come into their own original and unusual shapes as the flat triangles form three-dimensional arrangements as the bag “crumples” when carried, clutched or is put down. Its range of bags in monotone and metallic colors come alive when the facets move at various angles and pick up light and shadow that define forms. As others have noted, the bags have their “shapes made by chance.” Thanks to the facets.

At the Perth Cultural Centre Precinct, the washrooms have fully sculpted walls and ceilings. The use of white for the material—in this case, a seamless Corian brand solid surface—highlights the geometry of the ceilings, walls and skylit surfaces. The effect is that of walking into a modern cave made of crystalline material, like the inside of a randomly cut stone, lacking only in the high-polish of a quartz.

In this case, the synthetic material supported the seamlessness. But the way the surfaces were faceted as conceptualized by its designer dictated the final forms and the user experience. In all its angular geometry, the forms look both elegant and forceful.

Many other buildings and their exteriors are coming to play with facets. What it offers us is some fluidity in shape without being too organic. It projects modernity and the cutting-edge. Hopefully, it isn’t just a trend but rather a technique that’s slowly shaping the future.

Contact the author through designdimensions@abi.ph or through our Asuncion Berenguer  Facebook account.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: cad , computer-aided design , property , technology

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace